• Group full-year net profits leap by 52.4% to JPY85.66bn (US$835.8m)
  • Sales in 12 months of 2013 rise by 3.1% to JPY2.25trn
  • Operating profits dip by 6.7% to JPY142.82bn
  • Domestic volumes flat, international jumps
Kirin Group reported its full-year results earlier today

Kirin Group reported its full-year results earlier today

Kirin Group has posted a record high for its full-year net profits, thanks to the sale of its stake in Fraser & Neave a year ago.

The Japanese conglomerate said earlier today (13 February) that group net profits in 2013 soared by 52.4% on 2012, totalling JPY85.66bn (US$835.8m). Sales in the year rose by a more conservative 3.1% to JPY2.25trn, although operating profits fell by 6.7% to JPY142.82bn.

The bottom line was boosted by the sale of Kirin's 15% stake in Fraser & Neave to TCC Assets in February last year for around SGD2bn (US$1.6bn).

On the drinks front, Kirin Beverage posted a 6% lift in full-year sales volumes, although sales in value terms were polarised: domestic sales of beverages were down by 0.8%, while overseas beverage sales, comprising Lion in Australia and the former Schincariol brewer in Brazil that Kirin bought in 2011, jumped by 18.7%.

The company's beer category volumes in Japan fell by 3.3%, while soft drinks rose by 6%. Wine volumes were up by 1%.

Despite "firm" sales of Lion's alcohol beverage brands in Australia, and sales growth in Brazil that exceeded market growth, Kirin was not satisfied with the performance abroad. "Effects from changes in the business environment (overseas) during the fiscal year could not be covers and income fell short of the business plan target," the company said.

"While measures to restore growth in Japan have had some effect, there are issues concerning beer sales and there is an urgent need to stabilise overseas sales."

Looking forward, Kirin said it is targetting a 1.6% lift in sales in 2014, but is preparing for a drop in net profits of around 42.8% this year. Operating profits are forecast to slip by 2% in 2014.

To read the company's official statement, click here.